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    by KATE POCOCK
    Family Travel Ink

Manitoba's Top Ten Family Vacation Experiences


  • Churchill Expedition: Drive the seven hours from Winnipeg to Thompson, then take the 10-hour train ride, or fly two hours from Winnipeg to see the Polar Bear Capital of the World. Though the bears are gone, you'll see whales, birds and seals.

  • Winnipeg Museum Day: Start at the Manitoba Children's Museum near the Forks and move on to the awesome Museum of Man and Nature, Manitoba Planetarium and Touch the Universe Science Centre.

  • Oak Hammock Marsh, Stonewall just north of Winnipeg: stroll the boardwalk over the marshes, view the animals on display, and paddle a canoe through prime bird-watching territory.

  • Prairie Dog Central, Winnipeg: all aboard on a turn-of-the-century steam train for its Sunday excursions to Grosse Isle and back. Two hour round trip.

  • Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg: a major city park, co-designed by New York's Central Park designer, offering a sculpture garden, cycling paths, a miniature passenger train, the Assiniboine Zoo, a duck pond, and a statue of Winnie-the-Pooh (named after Winnipeg).

  • Narcisse Snake Den: the world's largest concentration of snakes-tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes-live in the limestone rock den about two hours north of Winnipeg. Family hikes and interpretive programs.

  • Shawenequanape Kipichewin Camp at Lake Katherine in Riding Mountain National Park (three hours from Winnipeg): learn about Ojibwe Culture and sleep in a tepee.

  • Riding Mountain National Park: at the interpretive centre in Wasagaming, kids sign up for Junior Naturalist's Keepers of the Wild program to sample aboriginal foods, take a hike or visit bears at night. A thriving bison herd lives near Lake Audy.

  • Horse-drawn wagon tour or hike through Spirit Sands park, the fragile desert of shifting sands

  • Lower Fort Garry just outside Winnipeg: interpretive programs for families all summer long
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